SANTA CLARA, Calif. - There is a big push to get younger people vaccinated. On Tuesday night, Covid-19 vaccines were given in a locker room at Levi’s Stadium. It was the first of several special youth events being held there.
Young people make up most Covid-19 cases right now in Santa Clara County. The night was targeted for young people ages 16 to 19. County leaders are hoping to make it fun while stressing the importance of getting the shot.
17-year-old Faith Vito was the first in line.
"I heard there was a giveaway at the stadium and I thought that was pretty cool and plus I wanted to be safe and get the vaccine," said Vito.
It was a thrill for Vito’s mom, a diehard Niners fan.
"It’s kind of nice to see the inside of the stadium versus the outside," said Karla Norris of Sunnyvale.
Santa Clara County teamed up with the 49ers for a special vaccination night for high school students.
Each teen received a tour of a Levi’s locker room and free Niners swag. A DJ and Sourdough Sam were there too.
"We are prepared if a couple thousand students come," said Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Associate Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jennifer Tong. "We will consider it a success if a few hundred come."
Right now in Santa Clara County, people 16 to 19 make up nearly 19 percent of cases. It’s the second largest infected group following those ages 20 to 29.
"That’s the age group where much of the transmission is taking place right now late teenagers to young adults," said Dr. George Rutherford, UCSF Professor of Epidemiology. "Unless we can control transmission in those groups we aren’t going to get to herd immunity."
However, teens and young adults are getting the shot at lower rates than older residents.
The main reason is they’ve only been eligible since April 15. Experts said it’s wise to get adolescents vaccinated sooner rather than later.
"The outbreaks in Michigan and Minnesota earlier this Spring were directly tied back to youth sports," said Dr. Rutherford. "We’ve seen that in a few places in the Bay Area as well so it’s a large unvaccinated group that’s perfectly capable of transmitting."
"I’m actually a Raiders fan," said Vaibhav Rangan of San Jose. "It’s kind of a hard experience to come to Levi’s Stadium with a much more successful team."
Rangan said it was all worth it to visit Levi’s Stadium and getting the vaccine was a big moment for his family. Most of them are now vaccinated.
Special youth vaccination nights at Levi’s Stadium are set for this Wednesday and Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The county could hold a similar event for children 12 to 15 years old once the CDC approves it.
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com.